Fitness Articles

6 Things to Look for When Buying Exercise Apparel

How to Shop for Workout Clothes

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Wicking ability
If you’re going to be perspiring a lot, make sure your base layer will keep you dry and comfortable. Look for a polyester/ Lycra blend or another synthetic material. These materials keep you warm in the winter and cool in the summer—even when wet—and dry quickly. If you prefer natural materials, wool and bamboo exercise shirts naturally wick away moisture, too.

Perfect fit
While you might be tempted to hide beneath baggy layers, you will feel more confident and sure of yourself if you wear an outfit that looks good on you and plays up your assets. If you feel good about yourself, you’ll be inclined to exercise more often. Clothing trends change for workout wear too, but the basics never go out of style. Add one or two more trendy pieces to your wardrobe (such as a performance T-shirt in this season’s “hot” color) but keep your classic black yoga pants that are timeless.

Your workout wardrobe should be versatile, carrying you from the hottest months to the coldest months (if you'll be exercising outdoors). To avoid overspending during the changes of the seasons, keep this in mind when shopping, looking for items that can easily layer during cold months. Start with a moisture-wicking dry layer, such as a wicking T-shirt or tank top, then add a warmer layer such as a fleece pullover. Finish with a protective outer layer (for waterproofing and wind proofing) such as a windbreaker or a nylon shell. Shop during the off-season for the best deals.

Technologically advanced
Many new workout pieces feature anti-microbial treatments to combat odor, while others have built-in ultra-violet protection to fight the sun’s harmful rays. You can also buy glow-in-the-dark or luminescent jackets and running pants to help keep you visible if you exercise after dark. If you are a hiker concerned about Lyme disease, look for clothing that contains permethrin, a synthetic version of the natural insect repellent found in chrysanthemums.

Activity appropriate
Baggy pants aren't feasible for cycling or Spinning, and flowing tops won't keep you covered when you do downward dog in yoga class. Consider the activities you do most, and make sure the clothes you buy are comfortable and appropriate for that activity. Most people can't go wrong with fitted workout Capri pants and a fitted performance top, but always try on clothes before you buy—and try a few of your signature workout moves in the dressing room to be sure.

The more frequently you exercise, the more important it is to wear the right kind of clothes. Aside from keeping you comfortable, dry and cool, the right outfit also makes you feel like a million bucks, so find pieces that flatter your figure so you can hit the gym in style.
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

    I've decided that it's time for me to finally buckle down and start working out. The only problem is I don't have all the necessary clothes to do it! I didn't realize that the clothes really make a difference. I'll make sure I find something! Thanks for sharing! http://www.liftco - 5/9/2016 12:23:57 PM
  • I look for price first. Will not spend an arm and a leg on workout clothing. A pair of capris, a t-shirt, compression hose (unfortunately) and a good pair of walking shoes. I'm working out, not putting on a fashion show. - 1/8/2016 11:41:18 AM
    I kind of use the same carrot so to speak as alicia lynn, in that I use fitness clothing to keep me motivated. If i hit my goals i go purchase my reward from www.airabellaacti I know that doesn't work for everyone, but I love new clothes! - 12/22/2015 2:59:37 PM
    Variety of sports workout apparel available in market, but finding the quality product is very difficult. Time has changed,,, nobody want to go garment shop to purchase clothes according to choice, Because of many online companies offering latest design track suit, fitness clothing for gym, Thus people search online and purchase online.

    I would recommend This is best website,,, giving sales, service hurried and provide quality product. I have bought so many dresses from it. If you have any query you may ask from our website. - 11/7/2015 4:51:05 AM
    Hi, it is wonderful post because you shared really great things about buying exercise clothes. Keep it up to share such information with us.

    - 10/8/2015 8:48:49 AM
  • I love that they even make workout clothes! We used to just have t-shirts and shorts, or a sweatsuit to wear. Now there are all these choices, and some of them are more flattering. Whatever you wear though, I think it should look nice on you. Otherwise, you won't want to put it on. - 2/16/2015 9:54:59 AM
  • I wear the same old holey stuff I wear when I mow the lawn. Does it look good? Certainly not. But when I am at the gym dripping sweat and making heavy-metal workout faces, does it really matter?? Not one whit. - 3/17/2014 11:22:49 AM
  • Cotton all the way! It doesn't leave me as hot and sweaty as the synthetics do. Ever since spending a late spring / early summer in the south, I've gotten away from man made fabrics and have much less problems with the natural fibers. - 3/17/2014 12:48:56 AM
  • I use new workout clothes as a reward on a regular basis. Meet my mileage goal for the year? Reward is a nice technical top and bottoms. Pricey, but worth it to keep me motivated to wake up at 5 AM to work out! - 11/5/2013 8:33:05 AM
  • Being a bigger girl, I find that new material totally uncomfortable and really hot---makes me feel worse---I don't understand why anyone would wear it---unless you are super thin and have no bulges, those clothes look terrible on me and bind me and restrict my movement. - 11/5/2013 6:57:07 AM
  • At this stage in the game, I refuse to workout without my compression shorts and sports bra. Once I've got these on, I don't care which shirt or pants I'm wearing to get my move on. - 8/13/2013 10:47:53 PM
    Is this just an ad to buy workout clothing? - 6/11/2013 9:51:17 PM
  • Most of the time im not too picky about what im wearing to work out as long as it is comfortable! I can tell you the one thing I can't go without is a comfortable sports bra!!! A bad one can ruin a whole workout! - 6/11/2013 6:08:06 PM
  • i would exercise in AN IRON SUIT if it worked for me - i have had all the fancy apparel, expensive label - the bargain basement stuff - and the old cut offs and t's.
    it makes no difference as long as you move your body - but as far as weight loss it has not worked very well at all for me.
    i was doing wt lifting classes - had a personal trainer - BIG BUCKS - line dancing, zumba - you get the picture - as well as using the gym equipment and circuit training
    i have a tread mill at home and walk on it even in my bathrobe -
    i am still the same weight -
    clothing options - bottom of the important list - 6/11/2013 10:15:39 AM
    totally disagree on cotton. i'm finding i hate having anything other than natural fibers against my skin. I'm not a long-distance runner though, so chafing might be an issue if I did that... but I've tried the poly performance stuff and it always ends up STINKY after one wearing. with BO that won't come out in the wash no matter what I try. Cotton doesn't absorb the BO as much, and it clears right out when I wash it. Plus it does soak up my sweat. Plus it leaves ME less-stinky afterwards because it can breathe in a way the so-called 'performance' stuff doesn't. I notice a huge difference in the stink when I pull off my nylon/spandex bike shorts as compared to my cotton/spandex workout capris. If performance specialty gear works for you, great. for me, the ol' cotton t or a tank for summer is far superior. natural fibers whenever possible on this body!!! I don't workout in sweats, though, because I find they're a little too bulky. and workout gear is REALLY hard to find in larger sizes. I'm about a size 12 right now and all the bike gear I have is XXL and just barely fits. I have no idea what I'd do if I still was 235 like in high school!! I guess ride in T's and jeans probably. Oh, and I have a good friend who is seriously allergic to poly. breaks out in a rash if anything touches her skin... so I try to wear more natural fibers for that reason, too! Wool is actually awesome for wicking and staying warm when wet. Plus the wind doesn't blow through it like poly fleece stuff... - 6/11/2013 9:23:35 AM

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